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Eduard Folayang braces for dream showdown vs Alvarez: ‘The stakes are really high’



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Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is out to make the most out of the rare opportunity in facing a big name such as Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez.

The pair of former lightweight world champions are set to meet inside the circle in a dream match at ONE: Dawn of Heroes on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Folayang – touted as the face of Philippine mixed martial arts – is thankful for the opportunity to face someone as Alvarez. He believes that it will fast track his hopes for another World Title shot.

“I always see my hands being raised after the fight. I have time to prepare for the upcoming bout so I will not waste the opportunity. We never know when we’ll face someone like Eddie again, so I’ll make a lot of effort to have my hand raised after the fight,” said Folayang.

“This is such a huge opportunity for me to redeem myself because I did not exactly have a good outing the last time out,” he admitted.

“I expect to be given a chance to compete at the ONE World Lightweight Title if I win, and that’s the goal.”

Alvarez’s welcome party at The Home of Martial Arts was spoiled when he suffered a first-round technical knockout loss at the hands of Timofey Nastyukhin in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals last March 31 during ONE: A New Era.

On the same night, Folayang lost his belt to Shinya Aoki by way of first round technical submission.

Folayang reviewed his Alvarez’s previous bouts even before contracts were signed, and he’s already seeing signs of weaknesses on his opponent’s arsenal.

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“This will be a good fight in a sense that we almost have the same style,” said Folayang.

“I need to focus more on his strategies and find ways to counter his offensive style,” he added. “He rarely throws combinations, that is what worked for Timofey in their last fight. Timofey was throwing combinations.

“I’ll see how I’ll capitalize on that.”

Though no belt is on the line, Folayang knows what’s at stake here – and it’s something bigger than himself.

“This is one of the biggest fights of my career. It’s like east versus west knowing that he has made a name for himself out west and even here in Asia. I know this is a highly anticipated bout,” said Folayang.

“This is very important because the stakes are really high. I’ve been in the sport for the longest time and it’s very rare to get an opportunity to face someone in that caliber.”